Hold your knives love-birds, the Lorax will thank you.

Yes, we know the love between you and your sweetheart is eternal. And EVERY cheesy movie reference would say to carve your initials into a tree. But let's take a second to think about what you're doing.

Trust me... I'm not your average tree hugger.

Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Credit - NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

You Cut Me Deep Shrek... You Cut Me Deep

You might think you're carving into the "useless bark", but what does it actually do for a tree?

Bark serves as the tree's skin, a layer some would say, protecting all that's inside. Cutting into a tree is like getting a cut on your arm... except the tree can't simply put a band-aid on and have it's mom say "everything's gonna be all right".

Like your cut, that carving makes a tree vulnerable to fungal and bacterial diseases, along with insects and other long-term damaging effects. This could hurt the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients, eventually leading to it's death.

Senior couple on hike in a forest taking a selfie

Take a Picture, It'll Last Longer

The NYS DEC has a better alternative to branding your initials onto a tree. Just take a picture!

It's the best way to leave to trace and share your experience with a bigger audience. The trees might not have social media, but at least your grandma in Brookfield has a better chance of seeing your picture, than stumbling upon your awful handwriting on a tree.

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